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January 31, 2013

HSBC: BP, Shell, Statoil at risk from ‘unburnable’ reserves

Oil and gas majors, including, BP, Shell, and Statoil, could face a loss in market value up to 60 percent should the international community stick to its agreed emission reduction targets, analysts at HSBC warned.

A new report finds that 17 percent of Norwegian company Statoil’s reserves would become ‘unburnable’ in a world where oil and gas falls as countries seek to keep carbon concentrations in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million (ppm), the level the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates is necessary to deliver a 50 percent chance of limiting long-term temperature rises to 2 degree Celsius.

Governments around the world have repeatedly committed themselves to ensuring average temperatures do not rise above 2 degrees Celsius, the level at which scientists warns atmospheric feedback loops could trigger “dangerous” climate change. While Statoil is the worst affected of the oil majors assembled by HSBC, the bank calculates around 6 percent of BP’s reserves, along with 5 percent of Total’s and 2 percent of Shell’s are at risk.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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January 31, 2013

70% of companies believe climate change will hit business

Seven out of 10 companies believe that climate change has the potential to significantly affect their revenue, with over half saying that it was expected within five years.

Based on responses from 2,415 companies made up of suppliers and 52 major buying businesses, research by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Accenture found the risk of supply chain failure was “intensified by a chasm between the sustainable business practices of multinational corporations and their suppliers.”

According to the report, Reducing Risk and Driving Business Value, fifty-one percent of the risks that companies associate with drought or extreme rain are already having an adverse effect on the company, or are expected to within five years. The companies also admitted that they are more likely to take action on climate issues as the physical risk has increased, rather than international climate policies.

Read more at CleanBizAsia.

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January 30, 2013

ReFood starts work on giant 4.2MW waste-to-energy plant

Construction is now underway on one of the UK’s largest anaerobic digestion (AD) plants, which is expected to be capable of converting 90,000 tonnes of commercial and domestic food waste into energy. The 4.2MW plant in Widnes is the second industrial scale plant developed by PDM, the UK’s largest food waste recycler, following the opening of the smaller facility in Doncaster in 2011. Both plants will be run by the company’s food waste recycling and collection brand, ReFood.

The new £20 million plant will have 50 percent more capacity than the Doncaster facility, with three combined heat and power (CHP) engines to convert the biogas produced during the AD process into enough renewable electricity to power 8,000 homes, as well as 4,000 kg/hr of steam and hot water. A nutrient-rich fertilizer produced by the AD process will also be used by farmers in the local area.

Read more at Business Green.

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January 29, 2013

Green procurement ideas inspire Thai businesses

Companies grouped under the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development (TBCSD) recently launched a campaign to promote green procurement among Thai companies, pulling support from manufacturers and consumers.

Prasert Bunsumpun, chairman of the organization, said the business sector should play a major part in ensuring global sustainability, as they were consuming natural resources and providing services from the resources. Thus, they should adopt the practices which result in minimum effects on the environment.

Kwanruedee Chotichanathaweewong, director of the Thai Environment Institute, said that more countries across the world are paying attention to green products and green procurement. “This remains an unpopular idea in Thailand. For success, we need cooperation from all parties, particularly business operators in all levels and communities, which are part of the supply chain. They should be aware of measures to efficiently reduce greenhouse gases.”

The institute has launched the Green Label, which has been awarded to 158 products where the production process promises lower impact on the environment compared to products in the same categories. It has also awarded the Carbon Label to 139 products which have cooperated in reducing greenhouse gases.

Read more at The Nation.

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category : Topics

January 29, 2013

Maersk cruises past CO2 target eight years ahead of schedule

Maersk Line, the world’s largest shipping company, has reached its 2020 target of reducing CO2 emissions by 25 percent from its benchmark 2007 levels.

“We are proud to hit this mark eight years ahead of schedule. It is confirmation we’re on the right track, and to keep that momentum we’re raising the target to 40 percent reduction in CO2 by 2020,” said Morten Engelstoft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line. “We reached this target largely from a combination of operational efficiency, network and voyage optimization, slow streaming and technical innovation. We will hit the 40 percet target with more of the same.”

It is estimated that shipping carries 90 percent of globally traded goods. While shipping is by far the most energy efficient way to transport cargo long distances, the contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere is 3-4 percent of the global annual total.

Read more at CleanBizAsia.

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January 25, 2013

How Google, Facebook and Verizon uncover huge energy savings

Many companies have good intentions: they want to cut down their energy use. But deciding out the best way how to do it isn’t easy. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) aims to ease the process with a fellowship program, called Climate Corps, that helps companies identify and overcome barriers to successful energy saving. Since its inception in 2008, the company has uncovered more than a billion dollars in savings at companies like Google, Facebook and Verizon.

To boost energy performance, it is important for the company to understand how barriers function and how to best overcome them. EDF Climate Corps trains around 100 graduate students on the fundamentals of energy efficiency and then places them in summer internships at organizations around the country. The students help the company or institution calculate the financial and environmental benefits of energy saving projects. They also help develop strategies, set corporate goals, evaluate renewable and other alternative sources, and look at innovative funding opportunities.

While technology certainly plays a big role in energy saving, human behavior is also an important factor in energy saving. An example strategy was initiated at Adidas where flags were placed in elevators that let people know how much energy their ride was consuming as well as how many calories they would have burned if they had taken the stairs. For companies looking into cutting down on energy use, EDF Climate Corps suggests to first carry out an energy audit. The energy audit helps a company identify where the energy saving opportunities are, and what is creating barriers and problems.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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January 24, 2013

Four out of five people have not heard of green deal

UK government’s flagship energy efficiency programme remains largely unknown just days before its launch. The ‘green deal’ which starts on Monday, is designed to tackle household energy bills and carbon emissions.

Four out of five people have not heard of the UK government’s flagship programme to transform the energy efficiency of 14 million homes, according to YouGov poll. The ‘green deal’ is designed to tackle household energy bills and carbon emissions from homes, which are responsible for nearly one-third of the UK’s emissions. It works by offering loans for works such as installation of solid wall insulation, new broilers and draught-proofing, with the payments theoretically being outweighed by energy savings. The loan is attached to the property rather than the individual.

The YouGov poll of 5,071 UK energy customers, commissioned by uSwitch, found that 81% had not heard of the green deal. The survey also raises fears that upfront “assessment fees” of £85-£150 could cut people off the scheme, with 51% citing cost as the biggest obstacle to making their home more energy efficient.

Climate Minister Greg Barker, stated that the findings were not surprising. “We’re right at the beginning of the green deal journey, and the uSwitch report is right to identify there is relatively low consumer understanding about the green deal. It’s as you’d expect, as it’s yet to be rolled out. I expect that to change over the coming year.”

Read more at The Guardian.

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category : Topics

January 23, 2013

Think, Eat, Save: UNEP, FAO and Partners Launch Global Campaign to Change Culture of Food Waste

Consumers, Food Industry and Government all have role to play in reducing the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted or lost each year. In developed regions, around 300 million tonnes of food is wasted annually because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption.

The Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Footprint campaign is in support of the SAVE FOOD Initiative to reduce food loss and waste along the entire chain of food production and consumption ? run by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), trade fair organizer Messe Düsseldorf, and the UN Secretary General’s Zero Hunger Challenge. The new campaign specifically targets retailers and the hospitality industry and utilizes the expertise of organization such as WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) and national governments who have considerable experience in targeting and changing wasteful practices.

The campaign website, www.thinkeatsave.org, provides simple tips to consumers and retailers, will allow users to make food waste pledges, and provides a platform for those running campaigns to exchange ideas and create a truly global culture of sustainable consumption of food.

Worldwide, about one-third of all food produced, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production or consumption systems, according to data released by FAO. Food loss occurs mostly at the production stages ? harvesting, processing and distribution ? while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food-supply chain.

Read more at UNEP News.

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January 23, 2013

Monsanto Company joins WBCSD

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has announced that Monsanto Company has joined its membership.

Monsanto is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that aim to improve farm productivity and food quality, joins WBCSD and is offering WBCSD’s Business Ecosystems Training (BET) course globally for employees. The BET course will enhance employee’s awareness and understanding of the links between ecosystems and business.

Monsanto is working to help ways to produce more food within the limits of the world’s natural systems. With the growing global population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, this will mean an increase in food demand as well as further straining our limited natural resources. This requires new agriculture systems and products that are both productive and more sustainable.

“In joining the WBCSD, Monsanto is taking an important step along a continuum towards developing a more sustainable agriculture system ? one that improves our daily lives, respects our global environment and recognizes the importance of the world’s small-holder farmers,” said Peter Bakker, President, WBCSD. “We must find new ways to protect soils, enhance ecosystems and optimize land use in ways that are environmentally sound. And we must move towards a future vision for agriculture where absolutes become as out of place as a one-size-fits-all approach to farming.”

Read more at WBCSD.

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January 20, 2013

Green energy makes up half of new US capacity

Renewable energy accounted for just under half of all new electrical generating capacity installed in the US over 2012. The latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Office of Energy Projects, part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), lists just shy of 13GW of green energy project coming online last year, a more than 50 percent rise on the 8.5GW of capacity added in 2011.

Around a quarter of this capacity became operational in December alone, as wind energy developers rushed to complete projects before the feared expiration of federal tax credits. Wind projects led the way in 2012 with 164 new developments totaling over 10.5GW of capacity, a figure that dwarfed the 8.7GW of new natural gas generation capacity and 4.5GW of coal added in the same period. In addition, around 1.5GW of new solar capacity was added, along with 0.5GW of biomass and 0.1GW of geothermal projects.

Read more at GreenBiz

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